Farm and Breeding Manager
Our resident breeding expert, Stephane oversees the busy Mare Care barn and has pioneered our embryo transfer program, among many other things!
Raised in a small village in Quebec, Stephane Robillard is today one of the most talented and capable people in the Arabian horse industry, an asset who Arabians Ltd. “imported” from Canada to manage the farm and breeding operations. He has worked with Egyptian Arabians for over 20 years, getting his start as a farm hand at Montebello Farms and helping to build a program at Edwards Arabians from 40 to over 300 in just a few years. He proved his willingness to learn new things when he moved to English-speaking Ontario at age 21 to work with Edwards, knowing not a word of the language. He quickly discovered that his favorite part of working with Arabian horses was in the breeding shed, the biology and science behind managing stallions, broodmares and foals. During that time, he earned certification as a farrier at a local college and in equine reproduction at Colorado State University, learning from some of the industry’s leading experts.
In 1999, Stephane traveled south to Arabians Ltd., where his duties now range from overseeing all aspects of breeding to trimming and shoeing horses, designing and building new buildings, and caring for foals. He picked up a third language, Spanish, once in Texas and today manages a bilingual staff. He also met the woman who would become his wife, Mellisa, upon moving to Texas. Mellisa is the Stallion Book Manager at the farm today, and the two live on the property, enjoying boating on Lake Waco and cooking gourmet meals together when they have the time.
His corrective farrier work has allowed him to work with many different breeds and even species–he has done corrective trimming on a giraffe at Waco’s Cameron Park Zoo–but he says the Egyptian Arabian is his favorite because it is the smartest and learns the fastest.
In 2010, Stephane studied with embryo transfer specialists and adapted what he learned from them to perfect his technique for Egyptian Arabians. With the support and partnership of Jim Sirbasku, he designed and completed construction on the farm’s embryo transfer lab, and launched his own embryo transfer program to serve the needs of Arabians Ltd. and its clients. The first foals resulting from this new venture are due summer 2011 and Stephane is happy to be able to offer this service.
Today, under Stephane’s expertise, Arabians Ltd.’s annual conception rate averages 90%, well above the industry average of 60%!
In the future, Stephane and his team hope to launch a frozen semen program as well!